How does Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath's Tale" compare to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight?

Both "The Wife of Bath's Tale" and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are medieval romances that involve the supernatural, love and marriage, and a final testing of the main character.

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"The Wife of Bath's Tale" and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight share characteristics in common with a genre of romantic literature known as Breton lai. A Breton lai is a short chivalric poem that usually involves courtly love and the supernatural world. While neither the Wife's story nor Gawain are Breton lais proper, they are clearly inspired by such stories.

Firstly, both poems feature the supernatural. The Wife of Bath points out that during the period of her story, the world was still enchanted by fairies. The story involves magical characters such as the old woman who gives the knight the correct answer to the question of what women desire most, then transforms into a beautiful woman on their wedding night when he gives her permission to choose for herself. Gawain also features magical characters in the form of the Green Knight and Morgan le Fay.

Secondly, both stories deal with love and marriage. The moral of the Wife's story is directly about marriage and how much authority a woman...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 943 words.)

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